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Community and Q&A

Headers BELOW windows?

Jerry Liebler | Posted in General Questions on

I plan on building on a PWF. The nature of PWF suggests it is fine with distributed loads but it’s capability to handle point loads is less obvious. My south wall will have several 6 foot wide windows. normally a header above the window concentrates the distributed load from above into point loads at the sides of the opening. I’m thinking of adding headers below the windows to “re-distribute” the loads to the foundation. I have 2 parallel 2×4 walls. In all cases the headers will be plywood box headers with 1×3 internals and 1/2′ plywood faces, insulated with 2 1/5″ mineral wool. What level of excess is the header below?

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  1. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    If you are building a permanent wood foundation (PWF), I can't think of any reason why the wood studs of your foundation wall can't handle the loads transferred from above. Nor can I think of any reason why a header installed under a window would be advantageous.

    But if you're worried about the ability of your foundation to handle the loads, you should consult an engineer.

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